This is why I try to stick to group buys run or at least brokered by businesses with established reputations in the community.
At the time of each article, both Team Redline and IvanIvanovich were extremely well regarded in the community with very very positive reputations. That’s why it was a huuuge bombshell at the time when those events went down the way they did.
This was also during a time when the community was much smaller, so ripples were naturally bigger without other/random people slapping the water.
Fortunately these days things have gone more “corporate” for the better, in terms of vendors establishing licensed businesses, having better communications (usually/hopefully), and doing better to provide more for the community than has ever been done before
Back in 2018(?) I participated in the DSA Milkshake GB. I live in Finland so I bought my set from Candykeys. I don’t think the GB itself had that many delays but the package that the manufacturer sent Candykeys was apparently way bigger than it should have been which caused it to break during shipping. That lead to many missing EU sets, some of which were mine. Candykeys gave me an option to either get my money back or transfer my order to KAT Milkshake GB, which I chose to do.
And then after all the waiting it turned out KAT Milkshake had several issues as well, especially in the ISO and Norde kits. Also many kits had weird issues with legend smudging. People became aware of these issues only after many of the American buyers had received their caps, but since it took a while for the caps to arrive in the EU Candykeys was aware of the issues and they didn’t send anything to EU buyers before doing their own round of QC.
I think there were a lot caps that needed to be replaced though, which was hard to do since Keyreative basically stopped all communications. Unsurprisingly after that things didn’t really go anywhere for a while. Now to my surprise yesterday Candykeys posted in the Biip discord channel that they had finally been in contact with Keyreative and are actively trying to push them to make replacement caps.
So if all goes well I’ll maybe get my Milkshake in a year or two. I would’ve never guessed that I’d get my Modern M0110 before the Milkshake caps but here we are Needless to say, I’ve had absolutely terrible luck with my group buys.
This 100% ^ I know that us old heads can get very defensive of corporations coming into the community (see the Glorious backlash with HPs), but the fact a lot of our trusted vendors are getting big enough to become “legit” is a huge boon to us consumers as far as buying protection goes. The days of “oh hey I got this ideal, give your money & I’ll see if I can make it work” are long gone & the days of “Give your money & PP is the only protection you got” are very close to being done as well!
I don’t know if GB is the right format if it is being run by these bigger players in the market. It made a lot of sense when it was an individual or two taking on $10K plus projects but I really wish some of these subsequent rounds on popular sets just ship as they come in stock. For example, I am still puzzled as to why GMK BoW isn’t regularly stocked and would think there’s a sizable profit to be had for vendors.
I havent been unlucky with a groubuy yet but hjoly shit lets say: GMK Dracula.
Groupbuy ended: October 31st 2019
Maker update 28th of April 2021: color match r6 on the way.
I’m not part of Dracula, but I think that one is a tradeoff, right? Sure, it’s taken a while, but it’s because of good QC’ing and there’s regular comms. I suppose, were I to be in a GB like that, I would want the right color over a quicker turnaround (though both would be best :)).
Update for the KAM Wraith GB.
Apparently Keyreative have made separate batches for all the vendors and first now is the EU one made…
Dude! Seriously. WoB amd BoB too. WTH.
This would suggest that GMK has the capacity to produce these sets nonstop, which they don’t. In addition, we keep asking them to make more and more and more each month so the queue just gets longer and longer. All it takes is for one mistake and the whole queue gets pushed back.
As to the argument for why GMK doesn’t expand production? I don’t know. Maybe there are reasons beyond what I know. But for now, this is why they can’t just keep a certain colourway in production at all times.
Just hire some more people and run a night shift.
nightshift is not really cheap in germany
Still think they will profit
Also as a note in production and scale;
GMK wants to make sure all sets produced have already been sold. Hence the GB/preorder model.
They could continually produce GMK BoW & WoB sure, but there will come a time when they have unsold extras. Based on how they operate, this is probably the last thing they want. They would rather have a high demand and meet production order by order, than fulfill demand and have extra units.
As a business, it’s much safer for them to proceed as is for the time being.
Isn’t all this GB stuff basically a side hustle for them anyway? Similar to SP, the hobby-ist stuff is not their main business/money maker.
I bet this colors a lot of their decisions as well.
I thought Drop basically has these in stock?
While it’s not their main moneymaker, I think GMK Andy confirmed that it’s now large enough where they can’t simply roll their eyes and ignore it; hence the announcement that they are expanding keycap production capabilities for enthusiasts.
Hopefully this works out well for everyone and there aren’t any growing pains or hiccups for GMK
Interestingly, Mito seems to have announced (via Instagram) that Drop will be doing weekly limited in-stock sales of… GMK Laser, of all sets.
Good for Mito, personally I would rather have the BoW, WoB, and maybe a classic beige set like everyone else is asking for. Laser has that flash though.
If Dracula is done right, I really think it can be a huge cash cow and replace Laser in popularity. The trick is pulling off those neon, highlighter colors. 8008 kinda muffed them up, so maybe that put more pressure on Drac.
Solid points. Whatever growing pains they’re growing through, I hope their trays and 7u warpage gets worked out. Or maybe in stock can be their B-stock or something.